In the past 6 years of teaching, I have supported teachers in completing their research and theses, mentoring them through their first years of teaching and supporting through practicum classes. I love working with teachers, generally, but there’s something about new teachers that just brings me so much hope and excitement. Along with that, there’s a lot that older teachers can learn from working with new teachers.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned and reflected on in my work with new teachers:
- Teaching is a truly exciting profession with lots of lightbulb moments and lots of challenges
- Our students are so amazing if we give them the opportunity to be…and we should give them every opportunity we can
- Teaching is a lot of work and, until you get the hang of the responsibilities, it is super overwhelming
- I should probably try to put in more of an effort to look nice for classes (our new teachers come in from studying in London, so clearly they’re more fashionable than the rest of us)
- There are so many tiny things that go into making a class run smoothly – it’s much easier to break these down when we’re beginner teachers
- It takes time to figure out our own teacher personalities and it’s important to keep trying to find that, even while we learn and take ideas from other educators
- There is always something we can learn from every other teacher we come across and our minds and attitudes should always be open to that
Any time you’re feeling iffy about your career choice as an educator, I’d suggest talking to a new teacher about their experiences and their reasons for being where they are. It will open your eyes, teach you something and help you remember why teaching is the best profession there is.